Monday, October 12, 2009

Dwain Lingenfelter: The Tory Who Wasn't

Grant Devine: Lingenfelter "trapped"

When the Saskatchewan NDP recently elected Dwain Lingenfelter to replace Lorne Calvert as their party leader, it raised many eyebrows.

After all, Lingenfelter had just finished up eight years as an oil company executive in Calgary. Not exactly the kind of individual who normally ascends to the leadership of a party that tends to slag oil companies.

However, according to former Saskatchewan Premier Grant Devine, who governed the province as a Progressive Conservative during the corruption-plagued years of 1982-91, this may be the least surprising thing about Lingenfelter's leadership.

Devine suggests that Lingenfelter could just as easily have been a Progressive Conservative.

"I think in part Dwain may have just ended up in the wrong party. I mean, he loves politics; he's a great speaker. He's very good in the house, but he's trapped," Devine suggests. Devine also expects that Lingenfelter will find his economic policy constrained by a party that "won't let him be an entrepreneur".

Devine seems convinced that Lingenfelter would have done much better as a Tory.

"If you had turned Dwain loose as a Progressive Conservative minister of economic development and he was free to use his imagination to build, I mean, that would be great energy to have," Devine muses.

Devine's thoughts may come as a shock -- or perhaps even as distressing -- for certain silly individuals who are so enamoured with Lingenfelter that they'll blog about any inconsequential detail that presents itself, all while making their seething hatred of anything even remotely conservative evident for the world to see.

It wouldn't be the first time a political leader had emerged from a party that may not altogether suit them -- a great many Liberals may be thinking the same thing about Michael Ignatieff right now.

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